30/05/2018 12:29 BST | Updated 30/05/2018 13:56 BST

White Supremacist Ethan Stables Given Indefinite Hospital Order

The 20-year-old will be held in a psychiatric hospital.

PA Wire/PA Images
White supremacist Ethan Stables has been given an indefinite hospital order

White supremacist Ethan Stables has been given an indefinite hospital order at Leeds Crown Court after plotting to carry out a machete attack at an LGBT event in Cumbria.

The 20-year-old was arrested by armed police last June while he made what prosecutors described as a “final reconnaissance visit” to the New Empire pub in Barrow-in-Furness. 

After Stables’ arrest, officers discovered a machete, an axe and knives at his home, which were supposedly instruments for carrying out the attack. 

Meanwhile, social media posts on far-right pages revealed he was intent on “going to war” and wanted to “slaughter every single one of the gay bastards”.

He also voiced hatred for Muslims and Jews, writing one WhatsApp message which read: “My country is being raped. 

“I might just become a skinhead and kill people.”  

In February, Stables - who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder before his arrest - was convicted of preparing an act of terrorism, making threats to kill and possessing an explosive substance in suspicious circumstances. 

Investigators discovered that, as well as researching firearms, he had also looked into methods for making a bomb.

On Thursday, Stables was handed an indefinite hospital order. 

Giving him an indefinite hospital order on Wednesday, the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, told Stables he posed “a very real risk to the public”.

Judge Collier said the defendant had been spared a conventional prison term because of the “severe” nature of his mental health issues. 

Hospital orders can be used to confine a person to a psychiatric hospital for assessment or treatment for a mental illness. 

But Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock wrote on Twitter that LGBT+ people in his constituency “will want assurances that a hospital order is appropriate and not the result of trickery Mr Stables used to try to avoid prison”. 

“I am keen to support members of our community who feel threatened to make representations to justice secretary David Gauke, who would have to give his permission before Stables is every released,” he added.